A few weeks ago, I read a great article in Forbes Magazine, by Liz Ryan titled “10 Ways Companies Drive Away Talent.” The main point of the article was about companies doing a great job to attract talent, but then struggling to retain people due to the bureaucracy and politics within an organization. Employers, take note. This is a great list to hone in on within your organizations so you can retain the talent after you have brought them on board.
Below is the list of the Top 10 Ways Companies Drive Away Talent (abbreviated version):
- ZOMBIE-FIED JOB ADS – Ryan explains how every job ad should have a human voice behind it! Don’t spend so much time in the details, sell the job you have!
- BLACK HOLE RECRUITING PORTALS – If your company has an Applicant Tracking system that takes too long to fill out, candidates will lose interest and drive to pursue an opportunity at your company if it is too lengthy or wordy.
- ROBOTIC COMMUNICATION – Ryan also mentions the importance of responding to any application with a personal message rather than a standardized, impersonal message. She says-“Why not say “Wow! Thanks for applying for a job with us. Give us a few days to look at our openings and your background. We’ll back in touch, either way!”
- INFLEXIBLE TIME OFF POLICIES - This is a very important one. Life happens. Employees have lives outside of work and emergencies come up, kids get sick and accidents happen. Allow for these exceptions and don’t make it difficult for employees to deal with these items.
- HEAR NO EVIL FEEDBACK SYSTEMS – Again, Ryan is on point with this one. A lot of supervisors go by the mantra- No news is good news. But, employees, especially new hires, need constant feedback both positive and constructive. That way, these employees feel engaged and important in their role.
- SCROOGETASTIC COMPENSATION PLANS – This is much tougher for a larger organization. However, with exceptional performance or achievements, try and be open to less conventional compensation and performance increases rather than the standard “2% company wide raise.” It’s not always feasible, but a little bit goes a long way.
- HEY, YOU STOLE MY IDEA – Ryan comments on ensuring that your organization embraces new ideas and builds trust so employees continue to add value through innovation.
- GODZILLA PROCESSES – Wow, this one is HUGE. If your company is so bogged down by process, then your employees lack the ability to be creative and innovative and eventually become robotic in nature. Look at your processes and make sure they all are necessary and value add.
- CONSTRUCTIVE SNIPING – Ryan comments on leaders who pick and peck at their employees due to their own fears and insecurities are sniping and making life difficult for their subordinates. She encourages employers to ensure their employees are leaders who “coach and inspire.” Think about it. You might need to do 360 reviews of those who are in leadership positions.
- TRIUMPH OF THE BEST AND BROWN-NOSIEST – This is a challenge to all employers. Make sure that the most rewarded employees aren’t the “Yes” people, but the employees that challenge and contribute and insight change. Those people should be the future of your organization.
This was a refreshing article, and I abbreviated and added some of my own commentary, however, it is well focused and timely based on a tightening job market. Employers, take note, and do your best to hold on to the talent you have by evaluating the systems, processes and culture within your organization so that you aren’t the reason that talented employees walk out the door.